Roger's Diary - Giles Landscapes CMS
Giles Landscapes CMS

Creative Landscape Solutions

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Roger’s Diary

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Turning negatives into positives can be valuable in these difficult times…

Take what happened to us last year – appearing on WatchDog in January 2009 and then just four short months later,  winning Gold and Best in Category at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show!

It all started with a little PR scheme of mine…

We are a sporting business and family with great ancestral athletes and the little village of Welney where our business is at one time led the world in speed skating. So it’s no wonder that our company is heavily immersed in promoting local sporting culture including speed skating – for which we have pages on our business website to accommodate this.

Anyway cutting a long story short, when all the papers and television companies were ringing us to get the first coverage of skaters on the Welney ice and asking us to rustle up some skaters at short notice – I thought to myself – ‘now there’s an opportunity!’

So  our contracts manager Gary who is a silver UK championship winning skater and other brave individuals took to the ice for the ‘paps’ proudly wearing our Giles landscapes fleeces and body warmers and flashing the backs of them at the cameras at every opportunity. Well the coverage did everything and more! Clips of Gary were on nearly every local and national TV news programme and a picture of him dominated half a page in The Times and Telegraph papers!

Our website got more hits than ever – which then resulted in more work and people of all ages flocked to Welney to try some skating for themselves – we were all over the moon!

Then the bomb shell hit – I was having lunch in a local pub when one of our clients came over to me with a broad smile on his face and said that Giles Landscapes had really made the big time now – I thought he had seen the coverage of Gary and so agreed jokingly and thought no more about it.

But the next day when the office girls were gathering all the clips together from the I player, they came across Gary skating across the screen in the previous evening’ s Watchdog episode. It all then became clear – It turned out Watchdog had borrowed the film and used it to denote a cold blast from the north causing pensioners to be ripped off for extra fuel bills! I didn’t realise so many people watched that programme! We were inundated with amused clients telling us all about it!

So you see we did make it on to Watchdog – but as a certain comedian used to say it was all in the best possible taste!!

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